Saturday, 6 April 2019

Subscription | Teamates

Today I have a NEW subscription device filled with, you guessed it, TEA! I was so excited when I saw that Teamates were launching a new subscription service with loose leaf tea in. And I was more excited to see these teas were matched to help Mind, Body and Soul. Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Drink up the magic with Teamates; a monthly loose leaf subscription for mind, body and soul. Each box contains 3 different teas, either to help awaken the mind, power the body or soothe the soul, promoting mental and physical health and wellness in the most convenient way possible.
Our selection of teas are ethically sourced and picked at peak season for the very best taste, reliably researched for maximum health benefits, specially blended for supreme taste and carefully curated for your ease. We've put together the very best tea box for staying zen - helping you to feel great from the inside out!

I really love the premise and think it's something really unique, which is hard to find in the world of tea these days. Everything seems re-done or 'rejuvenated' but this is truly unique and nothing I've seen before.  

Teamates is a monthly subscription which comes with three different tea's every month in a postbox friendly envelope box. That in itself is a pretty cool thing, there's nothing worse than a trip to the sorting office every month for your parcel. 

Teamates offers four different types of Subscription:

Receive 3 teas to awaken the mind - improving your concentration and awareness. It’s the very best tea box to help you feel energised, refreshed and focused!

Receive 3 teas to naturally power the body with the magic of tea! Boost your metabolism, aid digestion and burn fat with these super teas to help keep you lean or aid your weight loss journey.

Receive 3 teas to soothe the soul! Feel zen with this totally caffeine-free box to restore peace and calmness, relieving symptoms of stress, anxiety and insomnia.

The complete mind, body, soul box! Receive 3 different teas; one each to awaken the mind, power the body and soothe the soul.

I chose the Teamates Box with a mixture of Mind, Body and Soul in them. I really couldn't choose and was excited by the sound of all three so I went for the mixture. Here are the teas I received: 

Morning Mate Blend:

With almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, this blend is our recommended choice for those looking to start their day feeling energised and refreshed without the midday crash. Rich in polyphenols, which protect the brain from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of dementia and memory loss.
Ingredients: Yerba mate, lemongrass, spearmint, ginseng, ginkgo, nettle, cornflower, calendula and sunflower petals

*This one was probably my favourite tea of them all. It was so nice. I've really been getting into Mate blends at the moment and enjoying them early on in the day. So I was really happy to have received this one in my box. The Morning Mate Blend is packed with herbal flavours that've really been to my taste recently. The flavour of the Mate tea is the strongest, it's a nice strong punchy flavour of tea with the rest of the flavours mellowing nicely together.

Orange Blossom Oolong Tea:

Oolong is an incredible tea for the body, aiding digestion, boosting metabolism and decreasing the amount of fat absorbed from your diet. With the addition of dried orange pieces and small amounts of black tea into this special blend, it makes for a lovely well-rounded cuppa that’s full of flavour.
Ingredients: Oolong tea, black tea, jasmine petals, orange pieces, natural flavours

*This was really really delightful. It had a nice refreshing flavour especially with the orange pieces and jasmine petals blended with the oolong and black tea. The flavour of the oolong is really nice, I love oolong tea anyway! But I don't exactly love black tea, so I do feel this would have been slightly nicer without the addition of the black tea but it did still give it quite a nice flavour. I think this tea would be better suited, iced!

Total Zen Blend:

Camomile, lemon balm and passion flower are all some of the best teas to help promote a good night’s sleep, so we’ve put them all together to create a total zen blend! Caffeine-free and complete relaxation in a cup to take the worries of the day away.
Ingredients: Camomile, rooibos, lemon balm, lemon verbena, linden flowers, anise, cinnamon, oat straw, hops, passion flower, orange peel

This one was my least favourite, I mean, I enjoyed drinking it and have finished the pouch off but Chamomile just isn't for me. It's a little too herbal and savoury for my palette. The lemon balm and lemon verbena were really nice additions to this breed. It lifted the flavours and made it refreshing and lovely. 

Monday, 1 April 2019

Book Review | Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff
Title: Nevernight
Series: Book One of The Nevernight Chronicles 
Rating: 5* 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: Kindle Edition - 448 (I read the ARC which has 642) 
Published: 11th August 2016
Format: Paperback ARC
Bought/ARC: ARC sent by the Publisher in return for an honest review 

Mia Corvere is only 10 years old when she is given her first lesson in death. 
Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world. 
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya. 
Inside the Church's halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult. 
The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

It took me so long to pick this book up and I don't know if it was because the hype was so overwhelming that it kind of put me off or because my expectations were so high I didn't think it possible to live up to what I was expecting this book to be. How wrong was I!

It took me quite a long time to finish this book, s it is probably one of the largest books I've read all month and will do all year, at over 600 pages it's something different for me. I usually average books around the 350/400 page mark and that's generally my limit. Mainly because I struggle to keep interested in longer books or series, never mind a book that's both!

Nevernight was such an amazing read. It's intense form the beginning without you actually fully knowing what's going on. You think you do, but you don't. Trust me. You don't. It really is an epic read. 

Mia isn't the most loveable character as most portray. But that doesn't take anything away from what she is as a character. She's well written written and well crafted. Jay Kristoff clearly has a very big talent in character creation and development. 
And Tric, oh Tric! Tric was just the most adorable and loveable character and so underrated in Nevernight. He's my absolute favourite character, and will forever be that. he's that love-to-hate figure in Mia's life which lifts the storyline and stops it being so dark and heavy all the way through. he gives the book those happier and funnier moments throughout which I really enjoyed. 

As much as the book felt a little daunting right from the beginning, and it felt a bit much the first 100 pages or so were a bit tough to get through and felt very world-building, character-building type chapters. But they were short and sweet and to the point. it gave you in insight into Mia and her life and why she is the way she is. i loved the back story, it real gave a greater meaning to the novel. 

The world-building is amazing. It's vivid and imaginative and makes for a better storyline and a better read. It's easier to read because the descriptions are insightful and well read.I loved the descriptions of the school. It felt very ornate and grander. Almost old-school boarding type place. Exactly how I'd picture it to be. A school for assassins should be grand, no? The Red School is fascinating and complex and I loved every bit of it. It's the kind of place you'd love to go. 

There are a few 'oh shit!' moments which I loved to read. Especially well spaced throughout the book that kept you guessing most of the way through Nevernight. I love a book that keeps me guessing and isn't predictable right from the start. Which are few and far between these days! 

Around half way through I really could not get enough of this book and found myself reading whenever and wherever I could. i was reading on the way to work, on my lunches, in the bath, the shower, at night, before bed. Everything. Which is really odd for me. I'd only ever usually read on my way to work and that'd be it for the day. But I HAD to know what was going on and what happened at the end which really added to my enjoyment of the book. 

All in all Nevernight is fast paced and enthralling. everything you want from a (not young adult) Fantasy book. It's really got my reading back on track and left me loving reading again after such a long time. I've found reading a pleasure recently and this was no different. Every page. Every word is well executed and well thought out. It's evident a lot of care and attention went into writing Nevernight and a lot of effort so in that I applaud such impeccable writing. 

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Mortal Engines | Philip Reeve

Author: Philip Reeve
Title: Mortal Engines
Series: Book One of The Predator Cities (aka The Mortal Engines Quartet)
Rating: 4* 
Publisher: Marlon Lloyd Books
Pages: 388 pages 
Published: 7th June 2011
Format: Physical and Audiobook
Bought/ARC: Bought via Waterstones 

The first book in the award-winning Mortal Engines quartet.
In a dangerous future, huge motorized cities hunt, attack and fight each other for survival. As London pursues a small town, young apprentice Tom is flung out into the wastelands, where a terrifying cyborg begins to hunt him down. 

Mortal Engines
 launched Philip Reeve's brilliantly-imagined creation, the world of the Traction Era, where mobile cities fight for survival in a post-apocalyptic future. Now, in time for the film debut, the critically acclaimed Mortal Engines quartet is repackaged with a fantastic and eye-catching cover featuring new artwork.

I originally bought this book because the film looked really good and I noticed it in Waterstones. I went Sale Shopping on Boxing Day and fancied something a bit different. Then when I saw them on buy one get one half price I was initially going to get Book 1 & 2 but then I bought books 3 & 4 as well. Because, why not! 

Mortal Engines is the first book in a set of four which follows the people of London and fellow cities after a war which left cities standing as motorized cities. Let's just say I'm really glad that I picked up all four books in the series. I started reading the physical copy of the book I had just before I went back to work, but then finished it off as an Audiobook. 

The main Character, Tom, is the hero of our story. An Apprentice Historian on the London Movement. After going about his day Tom comes across Hester after an attempted Assassination on his Boss and never-before-met Hero. Hester is seeking revenge on Valentine after she feels he is responsible for the murder of both her Parents when she was younger. After that, Tom and Hester, embark on a journey they'll never forget and meet people they'd never imagined before. 

The concept of the novel and the idea behind the storyline is clever and well thought out. The pace of the book matches the way the storyline moves and the action is fast paced but lengthy enough to feel a part of the novel in itself. 

I really enjoyed reading/listening to this book. I would have preferred different people to narrate different characters in the story rather than the same narrator using different accents and voices. As good as they were. I'll definitely end up reading probably the rest of the series and I am interested in watching the film too.